Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Much-Needed Snow Arrives In The Nation's West

Weather map from the National Weather Service showing winter storm warnings in pink on Friday.
National Weather Service
Weather map from the National Weather Service showing winter storm warnings in pink on Friday.

California and Oregon, which experienced their driest year on record in 2013, are looking at more snow and rain over the weekend, with heavy accumulation expected in the Sierra Nevadas, the Cascades and the Great Basin. Colorado, which has seen the worst "snow drought" since the 1980s, is expecting significant accumulation in the western part of the state.

Parts of Oregon and Washington had already gotten up to a foot of snow earlier in the week.

Southern Idaho as well as parts of northern Nevada and Utah and western Wyoming, are also under winter snow warnings, the National Weather Service says. A couple of inches were already on the ground in Boise early Friday morning.

Weather Underground says:

"The first in a series of disturbances will move into the Northwest Thursday into early Friday.

"With cold air in place, snow is expected even in the lower elevations of northwest Oregon and far southwest Washington through early Friday. This includes Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., where more than 2 inches of snow is expected. Heavier amounts of up to 8 inches are possible from south and west of Portland to Eugene, Ore. Gusty winds will accompany the snow, leading to poor visibility at times.

"The snow will likely impact both the Thursday afternoon and Friday morning commutes in these locations."

The Oregonian says the storm could bring 6 to 12 inches to the Portland area on Friday in the first storm of the year so far there.

Meanwhile in the Northeast, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power after a snow and ice storm.

Reuters reports:

"Pennsylvania was the hardest hit. At one point, 849,000 customers were without power, according to the state's Emergency Management Agency. By 8 a.m. ET, utility crews had gotten that number down to just over 500,000."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information